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people, nor always find themselves able to do what they prefer, or judge to be best, and the account to which they are held is sometimes unjust; yet, on the whole they have always respected, and sought to serve, the views and interests of the people as a whole, and deserve much praise. The country has become prosperous and free under their legislation, and what the majority of the people clearly call for is always done for them.
7. The more carefully the people whom they represent watch them at work, and study the subjects they are required to legislate on, the less reason will they find for denunciation of them, and the more intelligently will they be able to lay out their work for them. They are the servants of the people, notwithstanding they seem to command and order, and are liable to be dismissed and turned out of place if they do not give satisfaction. They are men like ourselves, with interests, temptations, and weaknesses. We should aid them in their work, and assist them to walk uprightly by our intelligence and careful regard for reason and right. Our representatives will always, in character and conduct, present a fair statement of what we are ourselves. If we are just, honest, and highminded they will not dare to be otherwise than faithful and true, and if we are intelligent we shall never put ignorant and vile men in office. So the Congress of the United States of America will always be a truly Representative Body.
1. Among the Institutions of the government is that heading this chapter. The amount of printing required to be done for Congress, the various branches of the government, and for the benefit of the people, is very great indeed. All the proceedings of both Houses of Congress as recorded by the secretaries are required to be printed under authority; since many copies are required by the members and for general purposes.
All the laws are printed in great numbers for circulation among the many millions interested ; and when a bill is proposed it requires to be printed for the use of the several hundred members who need it for examination and study, although it often never becomes a law.
2. The President's Messages, and all the reports of heads of departments and bureaus ; the reports and commissions of array and navy officers, of investigating committees, of various superintendents, agents, and government employees, and
many other things are printed, sometimes only for use of Congress; sometimes for extensive circulation. Thus it is easily seen that the government printing is a heavy expense, and a very large part is indispensable ; though many believe that a judicious selection of documents and a careful study as to the number of some of them printed might largely reduce the expense, without injury to the public welfare. We do not wish to pay for the printing of documents that are never read. It is a waste of the people's money; yet, we must not forget that it is of the utmost importance that the people should become intimately acquainted with all the affairs of the government. Perhaps Congress is sometimes wiser than the people, and that many documents are wisely printed, and unwisely left unread by those most interested. Economy and intelligence are to be equally regarded
3. Until 1860, the government hired men to do this work, and a printer was employed by each house of Congress. But great complaints were made of the enormous expense to which the country was subjected in this item of its expenditures; and at the date named, Congress passed an act establishing a gov. ernment printing office, to be under the direction of a superintendent of public printing. The sum of $150,000 was appropriated for the purchase of necessary buildings, machinery, and materials for the purpose. By the provisions of the act it was made the superintendent's duty to overlook all the public printing and binding, not only of Congress, but of all the departinents, and of the United States courts ; to purchase all
necessary materials and to employ all the workmen required. And that Congress may know how the establishment is conducted and at what expense, the superintendent is required to report to Congress at the commencement of every session, the work done, the number of hands employed, and the exact state and condition of the establishment. He is prohibited from paying more for work done in this office than is given for the same services in private printing offices in Washington.
4. The superintendent is also charged with the duty of procuring all blank books, maps, drawings, diagrams, views, and charts, which may be ordered by Congress, or by the heads of departments and bureaus. But the superintendent himself is not left to act always as he may think proper, for in many cases he must have the approval of the joint committee on printing of both Houses of Congress.
5. This is a very proper effort to curtail expenses. It remains to be seen how successful it may be. The constant watchful oversight of the Sovereign People can alone succeed in keeping all things in due order. When the representatives of the people become careless and wasteful the admonition of the people is never without its effect.
THE SIGNAL SERVICE.
1. The present organization of this institution dates from the beginning of the civil war, and was originally purely mili. tary in its aims and purposes. It is still conducted by the War Department, and partly for its own purposes ; but its value to agricultnral and commercial interests is constantly becoming more apparent and more extensive, and will probably, in the end, so overshadow its military relations as to reduce them to a very subordinate place in importance. The civi! uses of this service are based on the science of meteorology, which is largely occupied with weather changes, the origi., progress, and laws of Storms. Its value to the people consists in its accurate prediction of changes in the weather, and the warning it is able to give, sometimes many hours or even days in advance, of dangerous storms. Its estimate of weather probabilities, based on observations reported daily from promi. nent points covering the whole country, are published in all the daily papers, usually found accurate, and are of great value to certain classes of the people. When a storm threatens to endanger the safety of shipping a signal is displayed in the port to give warning, and much property and many lives are often saved. It makes an accurate and scientific study of the weather and all the laws controlling its changes, by a large corps of enlightened and trained observers, all whose facts, constantly reported, systematized, and studied by competent persons, are likely to produce, in time, a most important and useful body of knowledge on that subject.
2. The objects of the Signal Service require its officials to be connected with the United States army, to have the use of the Electric Telegraph, to be familiar with Meteorology, and skillful in the use of the scientific instruments employed in the study of atmospheric changes. By means of the telegraph, the army, though scattered over the whole country, and especially the frontiers and more inaccessible parts, may be almost instantaneously, and all at the same time, communicated with. It would be possible, by telegraphs, signals, and railroads, to concentrate the whole army from the numerous points where its fragments are located, from Maine to Texas, and the Atlantic to the Pacific, at one point in as short a time as it formerly took a body of soldiers to march a hundred miles.
3. It is a singularly striking instance of the vigor and effectiveness of control supplied by science, invention, and modern progress, by which our vast increase in numbers and in extent of territory are neutralized, the interests, sentiments, and habits of the people unified so that sectional jealousies and contests are made rare and slight, and the people of remote parts of the country made practically better acquainted with
each other than formerly were the inhabitants of adjoining States.
4. Subordination and thoroughness of system are secured by its connection with the army, which probably also secures its advantages to the country at much less cost than would be the case were it an independent institution. The army is ambitious to be as useful as possible to the country. There is a Signal School of Instruction and Practice at Fort Whipple, in Va., which is to this Service what the Military and Naval Academies are to the Army and Navy. The most suitable persons are selected from the army or especially enlisted, and carefully schooled and tested through a sufficiently long period to render them fully competent for the delicate duties imposed on them.
5. There are about 90 Signal Stations, a few being located in Canada and the West Indies. The whole is under the direction of the Chief Signal Officer, who reports to the Secretary of War. There is a large and carefully arranged organization, under constant supervision by competent persons.
Several Boards of Examination are employed in selecting suitable persons for the different duties required in the Service, and in testing their advancement toward a thorough fitness for each position to be occupied.
The first or lowest grade is for the “field” signal service, requiring a knowledge of army signals and telegraphy - this being the original military value of the institution—the second grade includes those who are competent to act as assistants to observers in the scientific or meteorological part of the work; and the third (called Observer Sergeants) includes those who have so complete a knowledge of the scientific principles involved and of the use of the instruments employed as to be fitted to take charge of Stations of Observation, and make the constant and minute reports on which the conclusions of the Central Office are based.
The Stations are from time to time inspected, and the whole system kept in the most accurate order. Very much depends on the intelligence and unremitting attention of the Observers